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Category: Environment & Leisure

  • December 16, 2017

    Address to the UN Security Council – climate security and implications of rising temperatures

    In his role as Minister of State at the Foreign Office, Mark was asked to attend the United Nations in New York on behalf of the UK and which he addressed the UN Security Council Arria on climate security. You can find his remarks below or you can watch his contributions on the UN website […]
  • April 27, 2016

    Fixed Odds Betting Terminals

    Mark made the following interventions in a debate about Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) As the hon. Member for Strangford (Jim Shannon) rightly pointed out, the size of the stake—up to £100—and the very short cycle make FOBTs a particularly aggressive form of gambling that encourages fast repeat visits. FOBTs now account for almost half […]
  • May 28, 2015

    Fifa’s latest corruption scandal

    As the Vice Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Football for the past 8 years, this week’s deeply concerning allegations surrounding senior FIFA officials unfortunately comes as no great surprise. The news does however beg the question – why did the Football Association (FA) decide to enter into a bidding process for the […]
  • December 4, 2013

    Fixed Odds Betting Terminals

    Gaming machines have hit headlines recently after fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) were dubbed the crack cocaine of the high street because of their addictive qualities. Britons gambled £46 billion on betting terminals last year, an increase of almost 50 per cent in the last four years, and today parliament considers an amendment to regulations […]
  • July 16, 2012

    Concerts in Hyde Park

    Every year the programme of concerts in Hyde Park provokes a string of emails and letters to me from residents disturbed by noise and general disruption. In this Olympic year, the number of events has increased and their impact, added to dreadful summer weather, has given our glorious Park a pummelling. Last summer, I tabled a debate in the House of Commons to outline my concerns about commercialisation of the Parks, set out my opposition to the transfer...
  • July 12, 2011

    HS2 – A line too far?

    Seldom are there many votes, or any outpouring of public support, for MPs who promote large infrastructure projects affecting their locality. This is especially true of disruptive construction work necessitating the demolition of homes, years of wrangling over arrangements for compulsory purchase or its terms and endless traffic disruption. I know this all too well. The £17 billion Crossrail project has disturbed, blighted and infuriated thousands of my central London electors in recent years and will continue to do so for much of this decade.
  • February 28, 2011

    Daylight Savings Bill

    The changing of Britain’s clocks to has been much debated following the Daylight Saving Bill passing its Second Reading in the House last December. I attended Parliament for the debate and voted in favour of this issue being allowed to have further parliamentary examination. The Bill proposes a three year trial which would result in Britain’s clocks shifting one hour forward throughout the
  • February 7, 2011

    Forestry Proposals

    Mark has received a very high volume of emails about the government's consultation on whether or not to sell off tracts of publicly-owned forests. Pasted below is the reply he sent today to constituents.
  • December 3, 2010

    A wake up call for the national game

    So the recriminations begin in earnest. Only our elimination from the footballing competition proper brings more soul-searching than the repeated failures of England to secure the right to host the World Cup since 1966. First in line the media. The Sunday Times and BBC’s Panorama investigations about FIFA corruption will be regarded as pivotal. Next the process itself. For the first time FIFA insisted that the decisions about hosting the 2018 and 2022 tournaments should be made at the same time. Those wily Russians and Qataris cut their deals...
  • September 3, 2010

    Co-operatives in Football

    FC Barcelona, one of the world's most successful football clubs, is famously run on a co-operative basis – in short it is a private non-profit making sports association. The Club is owned and run by its 175,000 members who each pay an annual membership fee of approximately £150 bringing in around £25 million. Members have voting rights similar to that of a Co-operative Community Benefit Society in the UK and as a body they are able to dictate the future direction of their club. Fan ownership has led to FC Barcelona being placed at the very heart of the fiercely independent Catalonian region which has a population of over 7.5 million. Barcelona supplemented their ...